Your tiger's claw is very good.

writtenbyQ4u By writtenbyQ4u, 22nd Nov 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

As a martial arts practitioner, a question I have been asked many times over the years is; which is the best martial art?

For many long years, I have trained....

Having been a practitioner of martial arts for over twenty-five years, with the last twelve to fifteen years as a Thai kickboxing instructor, I feel I am well placed to pass comment on one of the most enduring questions in martial arts; what is the best martial art?
The answer to this question is not as straight forward as one might think. With the modern day fad for mixed martial arts - mma - where the practitioner combines many disciplines in an effort to become an unstoppable fighting machine, it would seem that no particular style is the best.
In the world of mma, the dominant martial art style is Brazilian ju jitsu, as a lot of mma contest ended up on the ground and in its infancy, the sport was dominated by purveyors of that art, so as the sport became more popular, Brazilian ju jitsu also grew in popularity.
In the seventies and eighties it was karate. Martial arts in film was probably at its nadir in the seventies, with Bruce Lee gaining global recognition. The likes of Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Sammy Hung followed because of the trail Lee blazed.
What did not follow was a growth in the styles of martial arts they practiced. Chinese kung fu and Wing Chun, Wushu and Chinese kickboxing were all ably demonstrated by the aforementioned, but the paucity of classes teaching these arts and the difficulty in finding them - this was pre internet remember - meant those particular arts remained on celluloid and never hit the masses. That was left to karate and it Korean cousin Tae Kwon Do.
A young man in the eighties with too much aggression and energy, who did not get into street violence, would probably have found himself in a karate class.
Pristine white cotton gi, wide legged stance and a fierce expression; This was most people's introduction to martial arts. Back then, one believed if they were doing a martial art and rising through the ranks, to the coveted level of black belt, they were becoming a lethal fighting machine.
Admittedly, classes were much more...primal. You knew when you went into a class, it was likely you would take a bit of beating.
These days, with litigation being a national pastime of many, people getting hurt in classes is rarer than in days gone by.
Another thing which has changed from times gone by, is peoples expectations. I cannot tell you how often I am asked how long it will take to become a black belt! People just want results without the effort and experience or pain.
Having competed in the ring and met and known many fighters and martial artist, I think I can answer the oft ask question, which is the best martial art?
The answer is none of them. I apologise if that seems like a cop out. All the martial arts have their plus points and negative points. The effectiveness of any martial art is down to the practitioner. Some people are natural fighters and learning a martial art just increases their efficiency. Others are very good just due to their innate competitive nature. Some people are just not fighters.
No martial art can make a person a fighter. It can improve one's ability to fight and give one tools to fight, but it will not make a warrior out of an intrinsic pacifist.
Martial arts is fantastic for fitness and confidence and can increase your ability to defend yourself. It will not make you an unstoppable fighting machine.


Black Belt, Defense, Fighting, Lethal, Martial Arts

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author avatar writtenbyQ4u
I am a fitness instructor dreaming of being a film script writer. I tend to write - or rant! - about anything that takes my fancy.

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author avatar shankysahni
23rd Nov 2011 (#)

nice info....I enjoy watching martial art movies and it was fun reading your article

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author avatar Amy Robertson
23rd Nov 2011 (#)

Maybe a key lesson from martial arts is realising you don't need to be an unstoppable machine (and feel more confident about extracting yourself from a tense situation rather than destroying the enemy?)

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